New device helps patients after lung surgery
Ten new digital chest tube units in the operating room are making a difference for patients requiring lung surgery. This technology is used to collect blood from the chest cavity to prevent the lung from collapsing. Before donor support made it possible to purchase these new battery operated systems, patients had to stay in their rooms hooked up to suction in the wall. Now, patients can walk around because the digital chest tubes are portable and light weight. These new devices also provide a digital readout of any air leaking from the lung so doctors can react immediately.
Grateful patient inspires donation for new app
“I found something.” These are three words Rick Williamson will never forget. After a routine examination of his digestive tract, Rick’s doctor told him he had cancer in his small intestine.
Thankfully Rick had an early diagnosis and was a good candidate for a Whipple procedure, the most effective treatment available for this type of cancer. St. Joe’s is just one of 13 hospitals across Ontario that offers this complex surgery to treat cancer of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts.
Rick came to St. Joe’s to meet Dr. Shiva Jayaraman, a surgeon who specializes in the Whipple procedure and booked his surgery two weeks later; the most difficult two weeks of his life. “The hardest part is getting mentally ready,” he says. “I searched for information online but didn’t feel sure of what to expect. You don’t really feel prepared.”
Dr. Jayaraman was inspired by Rick’s fears and found a solution. He developed a free web-based app that provides reliable information about the Whipple procedure for patients and their loved ones. “Anyone can access this. Now patients can see if they’re on-track in their recovery and family can better understand what’s happening to their loved ones.”
Grateful for the care he received, Rick was inspired too. He made a generous donation to support the new app – whipplepathway.ca – which has already been visited by thousands of people in Canada and the United States. If you would like to support exciting innovations that help patients, please donate now.
Patients on dialysis cycling through treatment
St. Joe’s is now one of only three hospitals in the GTA to offer exercise for patients while receiving dialysis treatment. Twice a week, Registered Kinesiologist Naz Gholami pulls out mobile cycling machines for up to eight patients at the Community Renal Centre for about 45 minutes of exercise during treatment.
“At first, they grumble, but soon they are cycling, teasing each other about how fast or slow they’re going,” she says. “Exercise improves blood flow which can help with dialysis, as well as builds muscle and endurance.”
Patients say they feel better and have more energy. Even those who used to have difficulty with everyday tasks can now climb a flight of stairs without getting winded or go shopping without needing to stop and rest.
“Two weeks after I started dialysis I had severe pain in my ankles. I limped some days it was so intense,” says Jason, a dialysis patient for the past six years. “After I started cycling, the pain subsided—it’s not perfect, but I can walk easily now and I can even run.”
We’re excited to announce that the new Bachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre will open early 2018!